What is a Sling Library?
Sling libraries are local services that provide baby slings and carriers for local parents to borrow. They are often community led affairs run by groups of local mums and dads but others may be run by charities, local organisations, local authorities, or even local NHS centres. Whether you have a bump, baby or toddler, as well as lending baby slings, they may also offer a wide range of services and advice on a variety of baby and parenthood issues.
Why Use a Sling Library?
There are a great many reasons as to why a sling library might be useful for a new parent, which we have outlined below.
For Those Unsure Whether They Want to Use a Baby Sling
Some new parents use a baby sling without hesitation, whereas others may be concerned about how safe they are and find it odd that you aren’t using your hands. Going to a sling library enables you to road test the various types of baby slings and carriers and see which one might be right for you and your baby.
Save Money by Road Testing Various Types
If you are set on using a baby sling, then you now need to decide what sort you want to use. There are many different types – the main ones being traditional slings, as well as front carriers, and back carriers. Each of these baby carrier types are worn in a different way, which means that people tend to prefer certain types over others. Rather than having to buy different types of baby carrier to see which is best for you, you can save yourself the money by using a sling library to test out the different options.
Learn How to Use Your Sling Safely and Effectively
As well as helping you to decide what sort of sling suits you and your baby best, sling libraries almost always have events where they teach people how to get the most out of their slings and use them safely. Slings are generally a very safe way of carrying your baby but if you don’t follow the manufacturer's guidelines and use them correctly, you could be putting your child in danger. What better way to learn than by example from an experienced baby sling user?
Network with Other New Parents
It can be lonely being a new mum or dad – especially if you are on your own or are living in a different part of the country from your family and friends. Using the services of a sling library and getting involved with the other events they put on can be a great way to meet other parents with children who are the same age as yours. You may meet new friends and find yourself with a new and very welcome support network.
Gather Info on Other Important Issues that May Affect You
Baby sling libraries often have events on other topics of interest for you and your baby. For example, they may hold baby massage classes or workshops on a wide range of other baby topics. These can prove invaluable both to you and your baby.
How Do I Find My Nearest Sling Library?
We're currently in the process of building an up to date database of sling librarys in the UK, but it will take some time to gather the information.
In the mean time, you may be able to get details of local sling libraries from your health visitor, GP, or local library. Alternatively, you can find a list of many UK groups by clicking on this link.